Brackets are most often associated with the NCAA Tournament. And everyone loves filling them out and making their picks.
Unfortunately, brackets are underutilized in other aspects of life. They can be used to make decisions and weigh the pros and cons of just about anything.
Here are a few examples.
You take it from there.
NCAA officials are investigating allegations that a University of Kentucky tutor answered reporters’ questions in place of freshman basketball star John Wall at a press conference yesterday.
Explained NCAA spokesman Gary Marshall, “There were some inconsistencies in John’s answers that constitute as red flags, and we’re going to do our due diligence, but it’s important to recognize that John is innocent until proven guilty.”
New York Times reporter Todd Smith, who has been covering Wall and Kentucky all season, was the first to notice some odd answers. “John is a pretty simple and straightforward guy, but yesterday things seemed off. For starters, he was adamant that his team not look ahead, ‘lest we turn our next matchup into a trap game, comparable to the trap the Rebel Alliance fell into during the climactic battle ofReturn Of the Jedi.’ I’ve been to dozens of Kentucky press conferences this season, and this was definitely the first time John mentioned General Ackbar in any way.”
Dan Crowley of The St. Pete Times first became curious when Wall wondered aloud if the idea of the win or go home concept of the Tournament was, “perhaps a bit too Machiavellian” for his tastes, and was especially perplexed when Wall proceeded to explain that the winning team would be whichever was able to, “put the orange spherical object through the netted rims at the highest frequency during the allotted time.”
Kentucky coach John Calipari defended his point guard.
“These allegations are completely ludicrous. The fact that John decided to reference Star Wars andThe Princeat yesterday’s press conference only reinforces the fact that he’s been paying attention in his film studies and political science classes here at Kentucky.”
Kentucky fans have also been supporting Wall, with some going as far as to say the idea that the NCAA would investigate Wall purely because he was speaking eloquently is racist.
“I don’t see how it could be racist,” said St. Pete Times reporter Crowley. "Because from today's press conference, apparently John Wall is a 5’8" white guy in his mid-thirties.”
The 2010 NCAA Tournament begins the day after St. Patrick's Day.
May as well just keep drinking, no? Here you go
>>> Take a Sip of Beer Every Time
Gus Johnson suffers a coronary you hear a "Cinderella" reference John Calipari commits an NCAA infraction one of your friends says he's better than a women's player Jon Scheyer makes that face where you want to punch him the camera finds a player’s MILF-y mother in the crowd the camera finds Ashley Judd during a Kentucky game the camera finds Rick Pitino nailing some woman on the scorer's table Greg Gumbel gains weight during the commercial break
>>> Take a Shot Every Time
Gus Johnson suffers a stroke CBS shows that Bryce Drew highlight from the 1998 NCAA Tournament one of your friends says he's better than Luke Harangody Duke gets a favorable call the camera finds a player's ugly mother in the crowd a Jim Nantz pun makes you groan Greg Gumbel is caught eating a sandwich upon a return from commercial
>>> Chug Your Beer Every Time
Gus Johnson suffers a brain aneurysm Bryce Drew delivers a pizza to your house you hear a "Cinderella" reference, but it's about the '80s metal band of the same name one of your friends says he's better than John Wall the camera finds a player's father in the crowd, and you think he's kind of cute the camera finds Wynonna Judd during a Kentucky game you find a Jim Nantz comment clever Greg Gumbel is caught using his bracket as a bib upon a return from commercial
>>> Drink a Whole Keg If
Gus Johnson makes a subtle and measured comment befitting the game situation, allowing the players to shine over his his own unquenchable desire for attention the pain is getting bad from the vasectomy you elected to have to get time off from work to watch basketball Bryce Drew is willing to stick around to party you are a North Carolina, Arizona, UCLA or UConn fan one of your friends says he's had better than Ashley Judd Greg Gumbel is caught eating Bryant Gumbel upon a return from commercial Duke wins the national championship.
Although the Kansas Jayhawks are the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament and 32-point favorites in their opening round game, head coach Bill Self says he is not taking Cinderella State likely.
"There's something about these guys. They have that ability to win games they're not supposed to," said Self. "If we overlook them we will lose."
Two weeks ago Cinderella State entered its conference tournament with a record of 0-22. But a miraculous run through the conference tournament including game-winning shots from half court at the buzzer in all four games earned the Fightin' Miracles a bid to the NCAA Tournament and a date against the top-ranked Jayhawks.
"On paper they don't seem intimidating," said Self. "But games are not played on paper. These guys have the heart of a champion and luck on their side."
None of CSU's players stand taller than 5-foot-5 and the Miracles are thought to be the first all-white team in the NCAA Tournament in decades. Starting center Ollie Scrapplethorpe would be 5-foot-2 if he was able to stand out of his wheelchair. And then there's shooting guard Jeff LeMasters, who passed away from cancer back in November, yet the Miracles still put him out on the court each game to honor him. And it was LeMasters who hit the winning shot in the conference title game when a deflected desperation heave bounced off of his rigor mortis-ridden face and high into the basket just before the horn sounded.
"My boys are just going to go out there and play hard," said head coach Tip Moyer, who coaches all of Cinderella State's sports teams in his spare time, as the school is on a tight athletic budget. "We may not be the biggest, we may not be the strongest, we may not be the smartest, we may not be the fastest, we may not be the quickest, we may not be the most skilled, but I think I'm forgetting a few. Did I say that we're not the fastest? I did? Okay. Well, anyway we'll do our best and see what happens."
Here's an original idea an NCAA Tournament pool!
You can join the SportsPickle pool at ESPN.com by following this link.
Here are the rules:
1. The "winning" bracket will have the most number of incorrect picks. Got that?
2. The "best" bracket will be the worst bracket. Understand?
3. And again because somehow people mess this up every year (you morons!): This pool is the complete opposite from every other tournament pool because to win, you need to mess up the most. Yes? Okay, moving along
4. The winner (which, again, will be the worst bracket in the group) receives wait for it wait for it
5. two (2) tickets to an NBA game!!!!!!!!
6. A Nets game. (Technically, still an NBA game.)
7. Retail price: $4. (Really. On StubHub, Nets tickets go for $2/each. Not a joke.)
8. You have to actually fill out your bracket to be eligible to win. As the Nets actually have to show up to take their losses.
9. The tiebreaker is the winning score. Fill that out as what you think will be the score of the most lopsided opening round game.
So go. Join. And if you are the best at being terrible, you could earn yourself two Nets tickets. How fitting.
The clock finally struck midnight for Cinderella on Thursday, as Central Connecticut State’s potentially magical March run ended just seven rounds short of seeing them become the first sub-.500 team to make the NCAA Tournament Final Four, eliminated in the NEC Conference tournament quarterfinals by Robert Morris, 71-63.
“We were so close. That’s why it hurts so much,” said senior power forward Trace Johnson. “I just can’t believe it’s over.”
Blue Devils head coach Jim Manning stressed to his team that despite the disappointment, they can be proud of all they accomplished.
“Whether we like it or not right now, not every Cinderella is going to go to the Final Four like George Mason,” said Manning. “But I told my guys that we are very similar to George Mason in that no one expected anything from us. And no one can ever take that away from us.”
CCSU’s Cinderella run began way back at the beginning of their NEC opening round game against Robert Morris when they took an early 2-0 lead. But a quick three by the Colonials put CCSU behind for good.
“That 2-0 lead was pretty amazing,” said small forward Stefan Bonner. “We were playing some of our best basketball of the season on that first possession. Unfortunately, we couldn’t keep it up. It’s too bad. We would have captured the imagination of the nation – interviews on 60 Minutes, the Today show, an audience with the president after we won the title, all of it. But that three they hit finished us off.”
Coach Manning knew his squad was primed for such a run.
“We had been losing most of our games, missing most of our shots. All season long,” he said. “The law of averages said we were possibly ready to really break out and do something special.”
But with it all at an end, the Blue Devils (12-18) still wonder what could have been.
“We were only nine wins in a row away from winning it all. Think about that. Just nine wins,” said point guard Jamar Pinto. “Well, probably more like 10 because I’m sure we would have been put into the play-in game on account of us not being good. Still, though close."